by Wyn Staheli, Director of Research
October 5th, 2015
One of the significant coding changes with ICD-10-CM was including laterality within the code itself. This concept should help reduce billing errors and claim denials. Interestingly, CMS issued a statement regarding the reporting of laterality in their provider newsletter (emphasis added).
Implementation of ICD-10-CM will not change the reporting of Current Procedural Terminology (CPT) and Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (HCPCS) codes, including CPT/HCPCS modifiers for physician services. While ICD-10-CM codes have expanded detail, including specification of laterality for some conditions, providers will continue to follow CPT and CMS guidance in reporting CPT/HCPCS modifiers for laterality.
So even though the ICD-10 code specifies the location, it is still essential to use the proper modifiers on CPT/HCPCS codes to indicate laterality.